KOCHI: A case has been lodged against the vicar of Holy Cross church, Chendamangalam, near Paravur here for allegedly molesting three minor girls.
Vadakkekara police registered a case under POCSO Act against Fr George Padayatty, 70, on the basis of the confidential statements given by the three girls. The priest is on the run, police said.
The incident happened last month when the three girls went to the church office at Kottayil Kovilakam in Chendamangalam to seek Fr Padayatty’s blessings. The incident came to light when the children narrated their ordeal during counselling classes at school.
“The investigation into the case as well as the manhunt for the priest is on. We have recorded the confidential statement of the three girls on Thursday. IPC 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) has also been slapped on him,” said a police official.
Meanwhile, church sources said the girls are students of St Mary’s Lower Primary School, Chendamangalam and often children from the school visit the priest during leisure to seek blessings.
“The school is adjacent to the church and during the children of the break frequently visit the church. Since the priest has gone underground we do not know what exactly had happened. It is through the school authorities the church corporate manager got to know about the incident and later he tipped off Childline,” said a church source.